As Expected, U.S. Senate Blocks John R. Lewis Act

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By Matthew Torres

WASHINGTON, DC – After lengthy debate Wednesday night, the Senate has voted not to pass the voting rights bill named after late congressman and civil rights icon John R. Lewis, falling short by 10 votes.

According to the Congressional Research Service, The John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act of 2021 would establish new criteria for determining which states and political subdivisions must obtain preclearance before changes to voting practices may take effect.

Preclearance is the process of receiving preapproval from the Department of Justice or the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia before making legal changes that would affect voting rights.

Following the news, Christopher Anders, federal policy director of the ACLU, released a statement commenting on the vote.

He said, “Although the Senate failed to advance the Freedom to Vote: John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act, Senators in support of federal voting rights legislation cannot give up. This legislation would continue the work of the Voting Rights Act in rooting out voting barriers that discriminate against voters of color.”

In 2021, 19 states enacted 33 laws that some organizations like the Brennan Center For Justice consider “restrictive” and makes voting more difficult for Americans. These laws range from reducing polling place availability to harsher voter ID requirements.

“Today’s shameful outcome revealed who stands for, and who stands against democracy,” said Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP.

“The Voting Rights Act of 1965 took three attempts to pass into law, so we will continue to fight. Anything short of protecting the right to vote is a death sentence for democracy. The fight is far from over,” he added.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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3 thoughts on “As Expected, U.S. Senate Blocks John R. Lewis Act”

  1. Keith Olson

    A big thank you to Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema for standing their ground.  It’s good to know that there are still a few Democrats that put country over party.

    1. Keith Olson

      There are already laws in place to protect voters:

       Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) stated that there are already laws and rules in place to ensure people “have the right to vote. We have that.” And even though people “act like we’re going to obstruct people from voting. That’s not going to happen.”

  2. Alan Miller

    I’m stumped by this need to not require people to show I.D.  It bothers me that I don’t have to show I.D.  I’m also bothered that we are moving away from polling places — too much chance for fraud.  But clearly that’s where we are headed, and clearly, for some reason, Democrats believe not showing I.D. increases vote integrity.  I don’t get it .  I guess, according to the NAACP, they now know that I’m against democracy.  Is that treason?

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